By Sahid Fawaz
Boeing to workers: thank you for creating billions in profit for the company over the past year.
Also Boeing to workers: now pack your bags and never come back.
"Boeing executives are gushing over the company’s stock, up a whopping 58 percent over the last 12 months. Washington state’s homegrown aerospace giant left the Paris Air Show with 571 orders worth $75 billion. Its chief competitor, Airbus, had 336.
A fourth of Boeing’s air-show orders were for the 737 MAX 10, built by Boeing Machinists right here in the Puget Sound region. After a successful launch in Paris, Boeing’s top marketing officer said the newest 737 derivative was 'clearly the star of the show.' Boeing already has more than 300 orders for the 777X, still three years from rolling off the production line.
The company is enjoying simultaneously robust outlooks in both commercial and defense. That’s what makes Boeing’s recent job cuts, its deepest in more than a decade, even more upsetting.
When a company is thriving, it’s often taken for granted that the employees who make it possible are sharing in the success. That’s the way it used to be for generations of Boeing Machinist families. It made for a good living for hundreds of thousands of people, who spent their hard-earned dollars in the Seattle area.
The success-sharing model also made Boeing the most innovative and productive aerospace company the world has ever seen. Its dedicated and skilled workforce, who for a century have tackled every challenge in front of them, continue to make the industry’s most advanced — and profitable — aircraft. This year, Boeing reported a second-quarter net profit of $1.8 billion.
But at a time when many North American companies are bringing work home, Boeing is doing the opposite. Thus far in 2017, the company has shed more than 6,000 jobs, some 4 percent of its workforce, most of them in Washington state. Over the past four years, Boeing has reduced its Seattle-area workforce by more than 20,000."
And now it is asking for voluntary layoffs. ABC News 4 reports:
"In an effort to avoid more involuntary layoffs, the Boeing Co. is offering some employees a chance to leave on their own.
While Boeing leaders say the buyout word is not their way of describing the situation, it is applicable. Flight readiness technicians and flight readiness technician inspectors have until Friday to decide if the offer is of interest. Details of the offer have not been shared with ABC News 4.
'They’ve had this offer for a couple of weeks and have until Friday to decide if it is of interest to them or not. We work very hard to avoid involuntary layoffs. In fact, voluntary layoffs is one of the ways we do that,' said Boeing South Carolina spokeswoman Lori Gunter.
While offers were made in an attempt to avoid involuntary layoffs, Gunter admitted involuntary layoffs could still be a possibility.
'As our CEO noted in a message to all employees late last year and as we have reiterated throughout this year, there is a possibility that there will be additional layoffs. Our commitment to our team is to take every reasonable step to avoid that and to keep them informed throughout the process,' she said."